Designing a future without waste was the focus of a panel discussion and presentation, contributed to by Central Coast environmentalist Tim Silverwood, at a renowned international environment conference.
The UON Central Coast Campus alumnus, who is a co-founder of the international clean beach initiative Take 3, was one of a group of Australian experts and activists from the organisation ‘Think, Act, Change‘, to present at the South by Southwest Eco Conference (SXSW Eco) at Austin, Texas, USA.
SXSW Eco is one of the world’s premier environmental and sustainability conferences, attracting the world’s leading experts in the field.
Tim and the ‘Think, Act, Change’ panel spoke to the topic Designing a Future Without Waste to stimulate discussion around the issues and probable solutions to create a zero waste future for the world.
Tim describes how attending the conference will benefit his work as an environmentalist and conservationist.
“With the support of the UON Central Coast Campus, I was fortunate to travel to Austin, Texas to participate in a panel discussion titled ‘Designing a Future Without Waste’ at the SXSW Eco conference,” Tim said.
“SXSW Eco is a lively annual conference that brings together key representatives from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector, to stimulate solutions to a broad range of environmental challenges. Waste, recycling and plastic pollution were high on the agenda throughout the rich three-day program of over 50 sessions.
“My colleagues on the trip were television personality and passionate sustainability advocate Costa Georgiadis; social entrepreneur and founder of the change-maker community ‘Think Act Change’, Avis Mulhall; UNSW design lecturer, Selena Griffith; and Vice-President of upcycling and recycling company, Terracycle International, Albe Zakes.
“From the outset it was evident that our discussion would need to be ‘disruptive’ if we wanted to broach the visionary solutions to the world’s waste crisis we each advocate.
“We knew we had to use the best of our skills and personality to engage the audience and we certainly succeeded. A considerable line greeted us in the lead-up to our session and it remained standing room only for the duration.
“Our fearless facilitator, Avis took the crowd on an entertaining one-hour journey to the depths of the problem and to the heights of exciting solutions.”
Tim said he was extremely grateful to the University of Newcastle for this opportunity and the many ways in which the University’s campuses are assisting Take 3’s efforts to address the burgeoning problems of waste and plastic pollution.
“My major project is the not-for-profit organisation, Take 3, an education campaign that asks everyone to simply take three pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or anywhere,” Tim said.
“UON continues to support Take 3 through student led projects and support. This year alone we have seen third year design students at UON’s Callaghan campus complete a design project, Ourimbah Campus education students assist in the development of educational resources and we are currently working with the Ourimbah-based IT students on a new website for our growing organisation.
“I’m extremely grateful to the University of Newcastle for both my education and the ongoing support.”